FIRST LOOK: Long-Awaited Wolf In The Woods Unveils This Week In San Diego's Mission Hills

November 16, 2021

More than four years in the making, a founding partner of Hillcrest's Hash House A-Go-Go & Great Maple is ready to unveil Wolf In The Woods, an all-day European-style bar and café opening this week in San Diego's Mission Hills.

For Wolf in the Woods, Great Maple and Hash House A-Go-Go co-founder Johnny Rivera and his wife Renee have renovated a portion of the 1920s-era Mission Hills building that last housed Espresso Mio. Wolf in the Woods is an 1,100 square-foot, 50-seat restaurant designed with a Sante Fe New Mexico style that takes up one-third of Porras family historic building. 

"Wolf is a unique and intimate wine bar and cafe located deep within the beautiful historic neighborhood of Mission Hills," explained owner Johnny Rivera. "The interior is inspired by the legendary folklore and arts of native New Mexico long considered a very special geographical energy vortex on planet earth. Its rich heritage has attracted and captured the hearts and imaginations of artists, visionaries and free thinkers  drawn to its culture, inspiring desert landscapes and breathtaking sunsets for centuries. Our hope is to convey a little of that magic within these intimate walls, nightly, offering passionately selected old and new world wines and creative small plates to share."

Harissa octopus
Wolf in the Woods will serve a bistro menu designed by Chef David Lemus and Johnny Rivera, centered around European-influenced tapas, as well as snacks, cheese & charcuterie boards, farm-inspired soup and salad, and entrees. The kitchen will be overseen on a daily basis by Executive Chef Carmine Lopez. Highlights from the tapas menu include crispy calamari with romesco, aioli, red pepper flake and padron peppers; thin cut Spanish octopus, lemon zest, olive oil, harissa and chives; and citrus cured salmon with labneh, fried shallots, tomato compote, avocado and watercress. There will also be a selection of craft beer and a carefully curated list of Old & New World wines.

Wolf in the Woods opens on Friday, November 19, at 4pm at 1920 Stockton Avenue in Mission Hills. The restaurant's initial hours will be 4-9pm Tuesday through Thursday and 4-9:30pm on Friday and Saturday, with plans to launch brunch and lunch in the near future. Follow the restaurant on Instagram for more information and check out the menu and photos below.